For many folks of a certain — but definitely not old — age, The WB has a special place in our hearts. The broadcast network — which operated from early 1995 until September 2006, when it merged with the UPN to create The CW — was a magical network unlike any other that came before it or since. Although it took a few years for The WB to find its true calling as the home for quality teen-centered series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Felicity, it was a network that eventually came to define a generation.
For those who grew up alongside the Buffys, Paceys and Rorys of The WB, we look back and understand without question the significant mark the network left on us. (And that the "Oh, What a Night" promo is pure, legitimate art.) The WB is as important to who we used to be as it is to who we are today, and as a result, it's not completely strange to feel pity for the teens of 2018 who are growing up with more TV shows than they could possibly ever watch, but who may never know what it feels like to come of age in a world where TV shows like Dawson's Creek had the ability to become cultural juggernauts. So many shows that called The WB home had such a lasting influence on viewers that we now look back on them more than 20 years later and find the shows still matter to us now just as much now as they did then.
So, because of its significance to so many people, and because of the continued debates over which WB show was the best, we've decided to rank every scripted, live-action program from The WB.
77. Dead Last
It's hard to believe Dead Last, a 2001 series about three friends in a band who find a magical amulet that allows them to see and talk to ghosts, didn't last longer than one season. Starring Tyler Labine, Sara Downing and Kett Turton, the series aired six of the 13 episodes that were produced before it was canceled.
Before Eric Kripke hit it big on The WB with Supernatural, he created one of the network's worst shows in its 16-year history. Tarzan starred Vikings' Travis Fimmel as the titular hero, who is also the heir to a billion-dollar fortune and possesses super-human strength and agility. And when Tarzan meets Jane (played by The Walking Dead's Sarah Wayne Callies), he adds crime-solver to his résumé as well, helping the detective with her police cases.
If this sounds like the worst premise to you, don't worry, you aren't alone. Kripke has made his own feelings toward Tarzan explicitly clear. "I'll stand behind the pilot. It has a beginning, middle, and — the problem — it ends," Kripke said. "I was hungry to have anything in production, so I wrote a 50-page story that ended. Then it got made and I had something in production and it was all my dreams come true. They said to me, 'Let's do 12 more.' I said, 'Uh, wait! What's the story?' So, Tarzan was a hell ride in every way, and we only did eight before they wisely put us out of our misery."
75. Vampire High
Before vampires were absolutely everywhere, The WB had Vampire High. But the reason this teen drama failed wasn't that it was ahead of its time; it's because it was just bad. The opening credits really tell you everything you need to know about this "edgy" show in which a professor integrates his vampiric students with the troubled, wealthy humans who attend his private boarding school. (Please watch the credits, we swear you won't regret it.)
Although the series did develop a small fan base, it was canceled after only one season. Star Meghan Ory could clearly read the writing on the wall because she asked to leave the show halfway through the first season, resulting in her character dying of a burst appendix and the show being forced to introduce a new main character in the middle of the series.
74. Black Sash
When you think of Carlton Cuse, you might think of Lost, Bates Motel or Amazon's Jack Ryan series. What you probably don't think of is the failed WB drama Black Sash, which starred Russell Wong as a disgraced ex-cop who wants to clear his name after being framed and incarcerated for heroin smuggling. Isolated from his ex-wife and daughter, he becomes a mentor to a group of troubled, sexy teens at a martial arts school, which included Missy Peregrym and Ray J.
Cuse wasn't a creator on the series, so he can't be blamed for the show's absurd premise. And at least one good thing came out of Black Sash's six-episode run: "We used a martial arts form on Black Sash called Ba-Gua," Cuse explained. "I loved the Chinese symbol for Ba-Gua, and so we took that symbol and it became the Dharma Symbol for Lost."
Sara Gilbert and Molly Stanton starred in this comedy about a pair of twins who are polar opposites. The brainy Mitchee (Gilbert) and ditzy Farrah (Stanton) were tasked to co-run their parents' lingerie company, a business made famous by their best-selling bra, the Breast-o Change-o. Honestly, that summary pretty much says it all. Twins' premise was so stale and the jokes were so flat that truly the only notable thing about the series was the fact Melanie Griffith starred as the family matriarch.
You've probably never heard of the 1995 comedy Muscle, but it has a place in TV history: It was the first series ever to be canceled by The WB. Airing as part of a two-hour comedy block, the series, a parody of primetime soaps, was set in a fictional gym in New York City. An overarching plot involving the murder of the owner of the gym, played by Adam West, ran parallel to stand-alone stories involving the men and women who worked at the gym or worked out at the gym. An example of one of those stories: Nestor Carbonell played a gigolo who used the gym to pick up potential clients.
71. Life with Roger
Every now and again, The WB took a big swing, and Life with Roger definitely qualifies. Starring Mike O'Malley, the bizarre sitcom followed a group of unexpected friends who met when Jason (Maurice Godin) convinced a formerly homeless, suicidal man Roger (O'Malley) not to jump off the bridge where Jason's car had just broken down. After Roger decided he wanted to live, he fixed Jason's car and then convinced him to end his engagement. The two then moved in together, providing ample opportunities for sitcom mayhem. But also, like, what in the actual hell? This should not be the premise of a light comedy with a goofy, dance party intro.
70. The Help
Before there was Downton Abbey, there was The Help, a raunchy comedy about a beauty school dropout who had to go to work for a fancy-pants family of rich people because the show's premise required it. OK, so maybe the series, which aired just seven episodes before it was canceled by The WB, wasn't the predecessor for Downton, but it did feature Tori Spelling as a dog walker. Also, now you absolutely have the song "Beauty School Dropout" stuck in your head.
69. Maybe It's Me
Everyone is embarrassed by their family at one time or another, but not Molly! No, Molly (Regan Dale Neis) lived in a constant state of embarrassment when it came to her extended family on Maybe It's Me, which unsurprisingly lasted just one season on The WB. Maybe the show was canceled because constantly being embarrassed by one's family isn't really a sustainable premise for a TV show. Maybe it was canceled because the show's use of Pop-Up Video-style blurbs to explain Molly's issues weren't that well executed. Maybe we'll never know.
68. The O'Keefes
This sitcom starred Judge Reinhold and Kirsten Nelson as parents who homeschooled their three extremely sheltered children for most of their lives. But when the kids were allowed to attend public school, "comedy" ensued. Pulled after only five episodes, The O'Keefes became the center of controversy among parents of homeschooled children who were offended by the show's negative portrayal of homeschooling.
67. Brutally Normal
Only five episodes of Brutally Normal aired before it was yanked from the schedule, so if you don't remember it, that's to be expected. Starring Mike Damus and Eddie Kaye Thomas, the series followed high schooler Pooh (Damus) and his group of friends as they got into surreal adventures while attending Normal High School. So yeah, this existed.
66. Modern Men
Before he charmed the world on New Girl — but after he'd charmed the world on Veronica Mars — Max Greenfield starred alongside Eric Lively and Josh Braaten in Modern Men, a situational comedy about three single friends who were really bad at relationships and hired a life coach (played by Jane Seymour, of all people) to help them in their pursuits. Gee, it's hard to believe this one only had seven episodes.
What can we say about Simon? Well, it starred Jason Bateman as a former stockbroker who moved in with his brother Simon, played by Harland Williams, in Harlem. It was your pretty standard multi-camera comedy, and while it certainly wasn't the worst WB series ever made, it was still rather uninspired.
64. Kelly Kelly
Shelley Long, this show failed you. The Cheers alum returned to TV for Kelly Kelly, in which she starred as — you guessed it — Kelly Kelly. In this odd couple comedy, Long played an Ivy League professor who married a fireman with four kids who didn't like their father's bourgie new boo. It's a story we've seen before, and been done so much better. You'd think if Long waited 11 years to return to television, she would have been willing to hold out for something a bit better than this.
63. The Army Show
What was The Army Show, you ask? Well, if you must know, it was a 1998 comedy about an army sergeant, played by David Anthony Higgins, whom you may recognize from shows like Ellen and Malcolm in the Middle. He was charged with overseeing a group of misfit soldiers while also trying to hide his schemes for getting rich quick from his superiors. Honestly, none of this is important, because now we're just thinking about Enlisted and how it actually should have been renewed.
62. The Tom Show
After Tom Arnold's divorce from Roseanne Barr, he starred in this failed sitcom about a man who gets divorced from his famous wife. After the split, the fictional Tom moved to St. Paul with his two daughters and landed a job producing a morning show anchored by Ed McMahon's Charlie. The Tom Show was a slog to get through with the writing dragging down any talent the cast brought to the table.
One of two WB shows starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar, D.C. actually boasted an impressive executive producer: Dick Wolf. But sadly, this short-lived drama lacked the reliable charm of the Law & Order or One Chicago franchises. What it did have was a hot cast, including Gosselaar, Daniel Sunjata and Jacinda Barrett. The concept of the series was simple: a bunch of young, hot Washington professionals lived together in a townhouse and went about their dramatic daily lives. There was blackmail, murder, theft and who knows what else since the final three episodes of the 10-episode first season never even aired — not that anyone cared.
First off, we automatically love any show with an exclamation point in its title, because this comedy wasn't just called Cleghorne, it's CLEGHORNE! And that's way more fun to say. But sadly, that exclamation point may have been the most fun part of the show. Although Saturday Night Live's Ellen Cleghorne had talent to spare, the material she was given to work with did her no favors.
Nikki was a comedy created specifically for Nikki Cox, who'd become the breakout star of The WB comedy Unhappily Ever After, but the show lasted just two seasons due to its low ratings. The show featured Cox as Nikki White, a Vegas showgirl married to a professional wrestler. The two were trying to catch their big break; Nikki apparently wasn't it.
58. Movie Stars
Before Harry Hamlin played a villainous action star on Veronica Mars, he played a lovable action star in The WB's Movie Stars. Hamlin starred opposite Jennifer Grant as two Hollywood stars raising their kids in Malibu. The fact that their children were named Apache and Moonglow should tell you everything you need to know about the level of meta-comedy happening here. The best gag this two-season show had going for it, though, was casting the real-life brothers of John Travolta, Patrick Swayze and Sylvester Stallone as themselves.
57. Do Over
A fun fact you might not know: The WB tried really hard to make Penn Badgley happen. The man who would be Dan Humphrey starred in Do Over, a 2002 comedy about an adult man who gets a chance to do his life over after he's sent back into the '80s. Maybe the show was inspired by the end of Felicity, which saw the show's titular heroine travel back in time and find out what her life would have been like if she'd chosen Noel instead of Ben. Or maybe this idea isn't terribly novel at all: VH1 aired a similar show, titled Hindsight, in 2015. Either way, The WB had a really terrible track record with comedies.
56. Safe Harbor
Safe Harbor sounds exactly like something that would have aired on The WB in the late '90s. Set in the fictional town of Magic Beach (yes, really) and paired with the wholesome family drama 7th Heaven, the series followed John (Gregory Harrison), a widower and the local sheriff who worked to solve his wife's murder while also raising three sons. They all lived in a motel, which was run by John's mother, who was played by Rue McClanahan. Despite its idyllic setting and tranquil-sounding title, Safe Harbor never took off and was canceled after 10 episodes.
Before there was Nikki, there was Kirk. The 1995 comedy starred Kirk Cameron, who'd risen to popularity thanks to his role on Growing Pains. In the series, Kirk was as an aspiring illustrator living in New York City. The series ran for two seasons before it faded into obscurity. And we've already forgotten about it again.
54. Rescue 77
Before Sirens but after Emergency! there was Rescue 77, a series that detailed the personal and professional lives of paramedics. The series, which was created by a former firefighter and paramedic, starred Christian Kane, Marjorie Monaghan, Victor Brown and Richard Roundtree. Honestly, do you need to know more about this midseason show to know why it lasted just eight episodes in 1999? Actually, you do: It featured a character named Wick Lobo. Really! That's not a joke. But in all seriousness, because Rescue 77 was pretty dang serious, do you really think teens wanted to watch this when they could watch the life-and-death stakes of Buffy instead? Plus, look at the bright side: The show's cancellation allowed Kane to get a guest-starring gig on Angel instead.
53. Alright Already
Alright Already stared Carol Leifer as a single woman who opens up an optometry shop with her best friend. Although Leifer served as the inspiration for Seinfeld's Elaine, her naturally sharp wit seemed a bit rounded down in Alright Already, likely in the hopes of garnering more mainstream appeal. The show wasn't a flop or a hit and wound up canceled after only one season. However, we'd like to award Alright Already all the honorary Emmys for building entire episodes around plots like this: "Carol dates an astronaut, and gives him a cold."
There are terrible titles that tell you nothing about the show and then there are terrible titles that tell you nothing about the show. Three is very much the latter. Created by Evan Katz, who would go on to work on 24 (what is with this man and numbers?), the series followed three (oh, look!) criminals who were forced by a shadowy organization to take down other criminals in order to stay out of prison themselves. We can understand how this series might have been greenlit, but we can also understand why it never made it past Season 1.
51. Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher
After a recurring role as White Mike on The Wayans Bros., Mitch Mullany landed another gig on The WB as the titular lead of this sitcom about an actor who pays his bills by being a substitute middle school teacher. Nick Freno, naturally, wasn't your typical teacher, running mock game shows, implementing reverse psychology and educating through comedy routines. The series went through a minor reboot after the first season, with Nick becoming a high school teacher, but ultimately none of the changes that were made were enough to save the show from cancellation.
50. Off Centre
If you've seen American Pie more than three times, you're probably wondering why Off Centre isn't at the top of this list. Created by American Pie's Chris and Paul Weitz, Off Centre shares the film's raunchy sense of humor (and star Eddie Kaye Thomas). Nearly every episode centered around sex, from threesomes to masturbation to circumcision. And while it's important that television not ignore sexuality, Off Centre wasn't really interested in exploring the nuances as much as it was in mining cheap jokes that have aged about as poorly as American Pie. That being said, the cast was pretty fantastic. In addition to Thomas, the comedy also starred John Cho, Jason George and Sean Maguire.
49. Just Legal
Two words for you: Skip Ross. That was the improbable name of Jay Baruchel's character on this short-lived legal drama. The procedural, from Jerry Bruckheimer, starred Baruchel as a teenage legal prodigy who teams up with the weary and burnt-out lawyer Grant Cooper (Don Johnson). With its odd mix of comedy and courtroom drama, Just Legal never really fit in on The WB, but both Baruchel and Johnson worked overtime to elevate the nondescript procedural. Maybe if it had it premiered a few years later, Just Legal would have found a home on TNT alongside Franklin & Bash, but this isn't really a Sliding Doors situation that will keep us up at night.
48. Run of the House
It's hard to be mad at Run of the House for being so mediocre. The set-up was similar to many other sitcoms of that era (four siblings live together without their parents, with the three eldest raising the teenaged youngest, while a nosy neighbor meddles) and so we understand why The WB would order it. The problem is, it was just so... bland. Although Joey Lawrence and Kyle Howard have had their moments in other projects (My Boys forever!), neither got the opportunity to shine in this oatmeal sitcom. And without an interesting hook or a breakout star, there was no reason to tune in.
47. First Time Out
A few years before she would play Carrie Heffernan on The King of Queens, Leah Remini starred in First Time Out as Dominique, a roommate of the comedy's lead character Jackie (Jackie Guerra), a Yale graduate who worked in a trendy hair salon but was studying to be a lawyer. The series was, apparently, once described as a "Latino Living Single," but it wasn't very good, as the network yanked it from the schedule after just 12 episodes (of 16 produced). Something tells us Remini doesn't mind all that much.
46. The Mountain
Seriously, for years The WB tried to make Penn Badgley happen before The CW finally did it with Gossip Girl. On the 2004 drama series The Mountain, Badgley appeared alongside Anson Mount (Hell on Wheels, Crossroads), who ran a ski resort (the show's title makes sense now, huh?). Although the show was not very good and received very low ratings — it was canceled after just one season — the cast was littered with other familiar faces, including those of Oliver Hudson, Alana de la Garza, Mitch Pileggi, Tommy Dewey, and Barbara Hershey. At least we still have Out Cold?
45. Family Affair
Family Affair was a remake of the popular 1960s series of the same name about a bachelor who has to raise his orphaned nieces and nephews. Although the original series had a fairly long and healthy life because the world wasn't yet tired of manufactured warm and fuzzies, The WB version lasted just one season — and not even a full one at that. Still, despite its low ratings, the show's cast was pretty great when you look back on it: Both Tim Curry and Gary Cole starred in this terrible remake? Wow.
44. Hyperion Bay
The first issue (of many) that we have with Hyperion Bay is the fact that Mark-Paul Gosselaar's character name was Dennis Sweeny, which is clearly the name of the serial killer. But you know, this show actually might have been a lot better had it been about a hot serial killer who returns to his hometown instead of about a hot software guy returning home. There was family drama (of course) and a love triangle (why not) in this terribly rote series about what happens when a small coastal town gets caught up between progress (represented by Dennis) and tradition (represented by Dennis' townie brother).
43. Like Family
Before Dan Fogelman created This Is Us, he gave the world Like Family, a one-season sitcom starring Holly Robinson Peete and Kevin Michael Richardson. The premise was simple: When Tanya's (Peete) best friend, a white single mom, hit a rough patch in her life, Tanya invited her and her teenage son to move in with her family. Personalities clashed, comedic situations ensued, everyone learned a little something, etc. etc.
42. Greetings from Tucson
This sitcom, which ran from 2002 to 2003, feels like something you might see on TV today. The series, which followed a multi-ethnic family featuring a Mexican-American father and an Irish-American mother, was praised for its mostly Latino cast. Told from the point of view of a teenage son, Greetings from Tucson tackled themes of cultural identity and class. Unfortunately, it was never as good as it probably could have been, and that's kind of a shame.
41. All About the Andersons
Anthony Anderson's career is all over the place. For every The Departed, there's been a Kangaroo Jack. And for every black-ish, there's been an All About the Andersons. The failed WB sitcom starred Anderson as a single father and struggling actor who moves back in with his parents and the nursing student they rented out his childhood bedroom to. Although the comedy was canceled after one season, Anderson's talent shone through and we do wonder how the show would have grown if given the chance.
40. Birds of Prey
There's a reason Warner Bros. is developing two Birds of Prey scripts right now: the premise is great — in this show, Barbara Gordon (Dina Meyer), Dinah Lance (Rachel Skarsten) and Helena Kyle (Ashley Scott) team up to protect Gotham from metahumans and Harley Quinn (Mia Sara). However, the show's lackluster world-building and character development meant that Birds of Prey never reached its full potential. If The CW developed a Birds of Prey series now as part of the Arrowverse, we'd be thrilled. But unfortunately, the first attempt was a big swing and a miss.
39. Raising Dad
This. Cast. We've got Bob Saget, Brie Larson, Kat Dennings and Meagan Good all in one forgotten WB sitcom. And you know what? It's a bit of a shame how much Raising Dad has been erased from our collective consciousness. Saget starred as a widower raising his two daughters (Dennings and Larson) with the aid of his live-in father. Complicating their family dynamic was the fact that Saget was also a teacher at the local high school. Predictable antics ensued, but Raising Dad had enough heart that left us a little regretful when the comedy was canceled after one season.
38. Glory Days
Originally created in the vein of Dawson's Creek by Dawson's Creek creator Kevin Williamson, the 2002 midseason series Glory Days was eventually retooled to feature a mystery element because the young-skewing network was struggling in the ratings. The result was a show about an author (Eddie Cahill) who returned to his hometown and witnessed a murder, because, well, this is Kevin Williamson we're talking about. Anyway, each week featured some mystery that needed to be solved, but the real mystery surrounding Glory Days was why it had nothing to do with Bruce Springsteen.
37. Pepper Dennis
Pepper Dennis, a dramedy starring Rebecca Romijn as a TV reporter, went down in WB history as the final show to debut on the network before it merged with UPN to form The CW. The series, which also starred Rider Strong, Josh Hopkins, Brooke Burns and Lindsay Price, wasn't one of the few that made the move to the new network, and you know, that's probably all right.
36. Living with Fran
Let's cut to the chase: Living with Fran was no The Nanny. That being said, it was not terrible! The comedy starred Fran Drescher as a divorced mother of two whose son (Ben Feldman) returns home to live with Fran, his 16-year-old sister and Fran's much younger boyfriend. Nanny fans also got a treat whenever Fran's ex-husband stopped by, given that he was played by Mr. Sheffield himself, Charles Shaughnessy. Overall, Living with Fran was a totally serviceable sitcom that just wasn't anything special. But bonus points for featuring Debi Mazar in a recurring role! We never knock on more Debi Mazar in our lives.
Even if you remember Related, you don't really remember Related, you know? The show, which premiered during the final year of The WB but didn't have the ratings to make the jump to The CW, centered around four sisters in New York City who were all in different places in their lives. One was married and pregnant, one had just been dumped by a longtime boyfriend, one was making some questionable choices and one was in college. It could have been an interesting show, but there was something missing in the formula, and as a result, the show was fairly forgettable.
34. The Bedford Diaries
The Bedford Diaries, which starred a post-Gilmore Girls Milo Ventimiglia and yes, you guessed it, Penn Badgley, was supposed to be sexy because it was about six college students in a provocative sexuality seminar that forced them to look inside themselves. Unfortunately, there was nothing truly sexy about The Bedford Diaries. And this is despite the fact The WB tried to make it seem that way by releasing scenes online that featured more adult material than what could be shown in the broadcast. Each of the show's main characters were exaggerated in different ways for dramatic effect, and none of it made for good TV. Honestly, the only thing the show had going for it was the fact Audra McDonald co-starred as a college professor, something that still doesn't quite make sense.
Created by Constance M. Burge, who would also create the long-running Charmed a few years later, Savannah was a prime-time soap produced by Aaron Spelling and The WB's first one-hour program. Detailing the lives of three friends and their hella-dramatic existence in Savannah, Georgia, the series ran for two seasons. The WB made a mistake when it paired the soap, which relied heavily on secrets, betrayal and even a murder to drive its story, with the wholesome family drama 7th Heaven during its second season. But by the time it was canceled in 1997, the network was also beginning to build its teen-centered lineup — Buffy the Vampire Slayer had just debuted — so it's likely the show just no longer fit into the network's vision.
32. Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane
After the success of midseason replacements Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dawson's Creek, The WB was bound to have a midseason dud, and that show was Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane. This comedy about four high school friends (Selma Blair, David Moscow, Michael Rosenbaum, and Azura Skye) tried too hard and was never quite as funny as it thought it was. By the show's second season, it's title had also been changed to just Zoe ... (pronounced Zoe Dot Dot Dot), and yeah, it makes sense it was canceled.
31. Jack & Jill
The WB was seriously killing the teen-programming game by the time Jack & Jill debuted in the early 2000s. As a result, it often felt like the dramedy was the network's attempt to reach an older audience, as the series featured older characters and explored dating in your 20s. The title was a play on the characters' names (The WB really loved to name its shows after characters, in case you couldn't tell): Jacqueline Barrett (Amanda Peet) was the titular Jack, while Jill referred to her significant other, David Jillefsky (Ivan Sergei). Despite the cringe-worthy title, the series could be quite charming and even had a dedicated audience; unfortunately, it wasn't enough to convince The WB to renew the show for a third season, so it ended on a cliffhanger. Oh well.
30. Unhappily Ever After
One of the most defining aspects of Unhappily Ever After was that it was rather similar to the popular Fox comedy Married... With Children. The two shows actually shared a co-creator in Ron Leavitt, but Unhappily never quite reached the same popularity or level of success as the Fox series (although it did help launch The WB and eventually ran for 100 episodes). In 2018, the things you're likely to remember about the show are that it featured a talking toy bunny named Mr. Floppy and Nikki Cox was its breakout star. It's not that Unhappily Ever After was bad, per se, it's that by the time the show premiered, we'd kind of already seen it. Still, it was more successful than a lot of the programs The WB tried over the years.
Probably best known as That Jesse McCartney Show, Summerland centered on a woman, Ava (Lori Loughlin), who had to raise her niece (Kay Panabaker) and nephews (McCartney and Nick Benson) after the death of their parents. But because this was a WB show, Ava's ex-boyfriend (Shawn Christian), her BFF (Merrin Dungey) and an Australian surfer (Ryan Kwanten) also shared Ava's gorgeous beach house and helped her raise the kids. Although the first season was an instant hit, the shine quickly faded and even the addition of future babe Zac Efron in its second season couldn't save it from cancellation.
28. The Steve Harvey Show
The premise of The Steve Harvey Show is disappointingly familiar: washed-up performer (Steve Harvey) is forced to become a performer at an inner-city school only to find his calling helping a motley crew of students. Despite the tired concept, the show found an audience and ran for six totally fine, but never outstanding seasons.
27. Young Americans
This summer series was a spin-off of the popular WB series Dawson's Creek. It followed Will Krudski (Rodney Scott), a childhood friend of Dawson, Pacey and Joey who was introduced at the end of Season 3 with the sole purpose of launching this spin-off. That alone tells you that Young Americans, set at a prestigious boarding school, wasn't going to be a great or memorable TV show — and it wasn't. It was canceled after just one season. But it was the kind of fun summer fare that passed the days just fine. (Remember, summer TV used to be filled with just reality TV, burn-offs, and shows that couldn't cut it during the regular season.)
26. For Your Love
Anchored by the stellar Holly Robinson Peete, For Your Love was a sweet show with a whole lot of heart. Following the lives of three couples at different stages in their relationships — dating (Tamala Jones and Edafe Blackmon), newlywed (Peete and James Lesure) and married (Dedee Pfeiffer and D.W. Moffett) — the show chronicled the different romances and often found the couples counseling each other on their love lives. While For Your Love relied on the typical "men are from Mars and women are from Venus" mentality, its refusal to talk down to its audience always made it more charming than stale.
25. Brotherly Love
Did you remember that Brotherly Love, a wholesome and charming show about three brothers named Joe, Matt and Andy, played by real brothers Joey, Matthew and Andy Lawrence, respectively, aired on The WB? If not, that's OK, because the first season aired on NBC. But we hope you'll eventually come to remember just how delightful this young adult-oriented show often was, even if the brothers themselves were often just stereotypical archetypes.
24. The Parent 'Hood
The Parent 'Hood is far from being one of the more definitive WB shows, but it sure was charming. Following an upper middle-class black family in Harlem, The Parent 'Hood explored how Robert (co-creator Robert Townsend) and Jerri Peterson (Suzanne Douglas) balanced their academic careers with raising their four children. In addition to the typical sitcom antics, The Parent 'Hood also made it its mission to tackle issues of race and class through a family-friendly, comedic perspective.
23. The Jamie Foxx Show
Jamie Foxx may have an Oscar and a Golden Globe under his belt now, but back in the day he was a WB star headlining his own family sitcom. Running for five seasons, The Jamie Foxx Show helped launch Foxx's acting career as he played an aspiring musician who had to work in his family's hotel. The show was charming and fun, and the chemistry between Foxx and his onscreen love interest Garcelle Beauvais was impossible to deny.
22. Grosse Pointe
Not to be confused with the movie Grosse Pointe Blank, this criminally underappreciated Darren Star comedy was a spot-on spoof of teen shows and the people who make them (it was largely inspired by Star's experiences producing Beverly Hills, 90210). Adding to the fun was the fact that several teen stars appeared in the series, including Jason Priestley and Elizabeth Berkley. However, not everyone was so fond of Grosse Pointe's meta sense of humor. Reportedly, 90210 producer Aaron Spelling once called The WB to complain about the comedy because Lindsay Sloane's character in the pilot was such an obvious parody of his daughter Tori Spelling.
21. The Wayans Bros.
Running for five seasons on The WB and getting a second life in syndication, The Wayans Bros.' success wasn't due to any particularly sharp writing. But what the sitcom did have going for it was the immensely engaging charm of its leading men, Shawn and Marlon Wayans, who played two go-getter brothers living in Harlem. Shawn and Marlon's energy consistently elevated the material and left viewers wishing that they were part of the Wayans family too, both onscreen and off.
20. Smart Guy
Smart Guy was just solid TV. Starring Tahj Mowry as a child genius who went from fourth grade to tenth grade alongside his older siblings (Essence Atkins and Jason Weaver), Smart Guy was silly, sure, but it was darn funny too. Throughout its three-season run, the family comedy gave off major TGIF vibes and would have been right at home alongside Boy Meets World and Family Matters on ABC's iconic Friday lineup. It was heartfelt, family-friendly and a whole lot of fun — especially any scene featuring Mo (Omar Gooding). Mo was just the best.
19. 7th Heaven
It's hard to talk about 7th Heaven now without the knowledge of star Stephen Collins' admitted sexual abuse of a minor influencing things, but there was a time when the long-running WB drama was the pinnacle of family-friendly drama. Following the lives of the Camden family, led by the Protestant minister patriarch (Collins) and his wife Annie (Catherine Hicks), 7th Heaven was a Christian show that was actively trying to get across Christian messages of morality, authority and family. But by rarely veering into heavy-handed territory, the drama managed to appeal to many outside the Christian faith, helping lead to its successful 11-season run.
18. Sabrina the Teenage Witch
After Clarissa Explains It All ended in 1994, Melissa Joan Hart's streak of success continued when she landed the starring role on the endearing Sabrina, in which she played a teen who discovered she has magical powers on her 16th birthday. Her 500-year-old aunts Hilda (Caroline Rhea) and Zelda (Beth Broderick) — along with the human-turned-cat Salem (voiced by Nick Bakay) — counseled Sabrina on magic while she struggled to maintain a (somewhat normal) high school social life. The show was loopy in a lovable way that was reminiscent of Bewitched, so it's basically the exact opposite of what Netflix's take on Sabrina is, which is probably for the best.
17. Grounded for Life
Although the series originally aired on Fox, Grounded for Life was canceled two episodes into its third season. But fortunately, The WB picked it up and eventually ordered an additional two seasons. The series followed a blue-collar Irish Catholic family on Staten Island, and since parents Sean (Donal Logue) and Claudia (Megyn Price) had their first child when they were only 18, they weren't quite done with their own carefree, partying years — despite the fact that their eldest was a teenager herself. In the vein of Married... With Children, Grounded for Life balanced a look at a loving family with the less wholesome aspects of the realities of raising a family. The series also switched up the typical family sitcom format by often starting each episode at the end or in the middle of the story and then filling in the gaps using flashbacks.
16. Sister, Sister
ABC's loss was The WB's gain. Once the TGIF show was canceled after two seasons, the fledgling WB added it to its lineup where it ran for another four seasons. Sister, Sister starred Tia and Tamera Mowry as twins who were separated at birth but reunited under one roof with their adoptive parents 14 years later. There's currently a potential revival of the high-energy sitcom in the works and you know what? We're not too mad about it. If the revival's half as good as the original, it won't be too bad. But Roger (Marques Houston) better return too. That's our only demand.
15. Jack & Bobby
Although it was canceled after just one season, Jack & Bobby — playing off the famed Kennedys in title only — was a wonderful little show about two teenage brothers (Matt Long and Logan Lerman), one of whom would go on to become president of the United States, being raised by a single mother. Co-created by a total nobody named Greg Berlanti, the series was intelligent and endearing, using flash-forward interviews to the future to interesting effect. And although it wasn't completely perfect, it was good enough that it's a shame it didn't last beyond that single season.
14. What I Like About You
What I Like About You had a great theme song — a Lillix cover of The Romantic's song of the same name — but that was far from the only reason to love the Amanda Bynes-led show. Headlining The WB's Friday night comedy lineup, the series starred Bynes as the impulsive teenager Holly and Jennie Garth as her older sister Valerie. The two sisters were on opposite ends of the spectrum, but watching them grow — and grow together — to overcome the familiar ups and downs of young adulthood was a treat.
You might think that a show that ran for 10 seasons across both The WB and The CW would be even higher on this list, but the truth is, there were a lot of great programs on The WB, and some were simply stronger than others. Smallville was obviously successful — it even helped pave the way for The CW's current superhero slate — but the shows ahead of the Tom Welling-led series also had consistently strong writing, award-worthy performances, and a number of other strengths that pushed them ahead in the rankings. They didn't, you know, give their leading ladies head trauma week after week after week after week in order to prolong a narrative. And although the recent revelations about Allison Mack's alleged involvement in a sex trafficking cult has no real bearing on the quality of Smallville itself, it's difficult to look at the series in the same light.
12. One Tree Hill
One Tree Hill ran for a total of nine seasons, but only the first three aired on The WB. So even though the young-skewing program is best known for being the only show in existence to feature a stoned dog eating a dying man's transplant heart while the man's estranged son looks on and squints, it doesn't affect its placement in this ranking. Neither does Crazy Nanny Carrie or Julian Baker or James Van Der Beek's guest appearance. But maybe all of that is for the best, because One Tree Hill's first three seasons had just the right amount of teenaged melodrama to hook viewers. There were emotional love triangles (though they often made Chad Michael Murray's Lucas Scott look like a terrible person, which he kind of was) meshed with high school sports drama that was then wrapped up in an intriguing story about two half-brothers growing up and learning to grow together. Basically, One Tree Hill showed a lot of promise in its first three seasons, and even if it would eventually take a one-way train to Crazytown, we're glad to have it.
There's a reason The CW was keen on rebooting Roswell -- the original was great! It was also pretty absurd and even idiotic at times, but boy was this show fun. Starring Shiri Appleby as a wide-eyed high schooler who fell in with a gang of sexy teen aliens (Katherine Heigl, Jason Behr and Brendan Fehr), Roswell had it all: teen romance, government conspiracy theories and murder all smothered in a boatload of Tabasco and Snapple. Roswell was never going to win any Emmys, but its offbeat sense of humor and willingness to just go there made for three excellent seasons of television. Minus Tess (Emilie de Ravin), of course. To this day, Tess remains the absolute worst.
Reba McEntire just has that je ne sais quoi that makes her undeniably watchable. And for her six-season WB comedy, McEntire gathered an ensemble that couldn't possibly match her charms, but came pretty darn close! Joanna Garcia Swisher, Steve Howey and Melissa Peterman, in particular, made sure that this was a true family comedy, and not just a country superstar carrying the entire show alone. Over the years, we loved watching Reba and Barbra Jean (Peterman) develop a real friendship, and Cheyenne (Garcia Swisher) and Van (Howey) learning to be parents — all with Reba's biting sense of humor making jokes along the way. Reba was a show with a lot of heart, and a pretty killer theme song we still can't get out of our heads.
Ryan Murphy may now be an A-list Hollywood super-producer, but back in 1999 his career was just getting started with this teen dramedy about two polar opposite teenage girls (Leslie Bibb and Carly Pope) whose parents met on a cruise ship and got engaged. The two-season series became a cult hit thanks to its absurdist sense of humor that Murphy would later draw from in his next teen series, Glee. Popular also gave Leslie Grossman the role of a lifetime as Mary Cherry, the spoiled cheerleader with mommy issues and apparent psychopathic tendencies.
The bulk of Supernatural's 14 seasons didn't air on The WB, and while the show would eventually reach much higher highs (and far lower lows), the single season that aired on The WB was just pretty good and not too great. It featured a lot of standalone episodes as it introduced us to the family business while building its mythology. We got to know Sam (Jared Padalecki), Dean (Jensen Ackles) and the man (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) who sealed their fates as hunters long before we realized the roles they'd come to play in the battle between Michael and Lucifer (and everything that came after). And even though Season 1 was home to one of the show's best episodes in "The Benders," we also can't ignore the fact it's also the season that gave us "Bugs." That's right, we still remember "Bugs."
Much like fan-favorite series Roswell, there's a good reason The CW rebooted Charmed, and it's because the original WB series, which ran for eight seasons, was a ton of fun. Focusing on three sisters (played by Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs and Shannen Doherty, who eventually left the series and was replaced by Rose McGowan beginning in Season 4) who discover they're powerful witches, the series fit nicely alongside the similarly supernatural-themed Buffy the Vampire Slayer and offered up depictions of yet more powerful, world-saving women for young viewers to look up to. Sure, the special effects haven't aged well and we're still not quite sure about those rhyming spells, but Charmed was a series that ultimately focused on the power of family, specifically sisterhood, and for that it deserves a prominent place in our hearts as well as WB history.
We know it doesn't seem like it, but there was more to Felicity than just the never-ending Ben (Scott Speedman) vs. Noel (Scott Foley) debate. For instance, there was also Felicity's (Keri Russell) iconic hair and subsequent Season 2 haircut! OK, we're just kidding. Felicity was an honest, if sometimes hilariously dumb, coming-of-age story that captured one of the most confusing times in one's life: those painful college years when you're still trying to figure out who you are but you're also expected to be a self-sufficient adult. As Felicity attempted to find herself and find what she wanted from her life, viewers were treated to an endearing and frequently funny, if sometimes unintentionally so, story about one woman's journey that managed to feel universal, even if none of us actually got to make out with Ben.
5. Gilmore Girls
Gilmore Girls' fast-talking, pop culture-referencing brand of humor wasn't for everyone, but the show's influence is pretty undeniable. Anyone who grew up watching the three generations of Gilmore women — Lorelai (Lauren Graham), Rory (Alexis Bledel) and Emily (Kelly Bishop) — trying to find their way in the world and as a family likely found themselves at some point wishing their own mother was just like Lorelei or that they'd one day have the biting wit of Emily or the love life of Rory. And though the show never shied away from showing the women make mistakes (and sometimes pretty major ones), there was always an aspirational charm about the show that made you believe everything would always be all right because the Gilmores had each other. But the show would also be nowhere without its extraordinary supporting cast of quirky characters who populated the idyllic and eccentric Stars Hollow, from Kirk (Sean Gunn) and Miss Patty (Liz Torres) to even poor Cinnamon (RIP).
Shows like Everwood seem to be a thing of the past, and it's a shame. Emotional family dramas like this one about a skilled surgeon but absent father (Treat Williams) who packs up his two children (Gregory Smith and Vivien Cardone) and moves to a small town in Colorado following the sudden death of his wife still scratches an itch, especially after years of dark antiheroes crowding the small screen. Tackling everything from grief and young love to all the hallmarks of memorable coming-of-age shows, Everwood told thoughtful, emotionally resonant stories that tugged at your heartstrings in ways very few shows have done since.
3. Dawson's Creek
If you're asking yourself how a show as iconic and beloved as Dawson's Creek could possibly be at No. 3, might we remind you of that time Pacey (Joshua Jackson) grew a goatee and became a stockbroker? Or that time Joey (Katie Holmes) was dating [insert every single person who basically wasn't Pacey or Dawson]? For as good as the show was at times, Dawson's Creek definitely had a number of sore spots over its six seasons. Sure, it gave us a thoughtful story about mental health, what might be the greatest gif of all time, featured TV's first gay kiss in prime time, and introduced the world to one of the greatest TV love stories ever told, but it also stumbled every once in a while. Never forget that Dawson Leery's (James Van Der Beek) legacy is as one of the worst lead characters of all time.
You can make a good case for putting Angel at the top of this list — and we nearly did — but the influence of the series that landed at No. 1 is just too undeniable. Still, this spin-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was an incredibly strong drama, especially once it established itself and no longer relied on cases of the week each episode. The series, which continued Angel's (David Boreanaz) search for redemption, offered a darker, more adult tone than the rest of The WB. With its supernatural-noir vibe, Angel and his ragtag team of rogue demon hunters, brilliant scientists, and general world-saving heroes not only helped the helpless, but they also stopped apocalypse after apocalypse. Perhaps the show's legacy isn't just the fact it finally gave us the Angel/Spike (James Marsters) relationship we all craved or featured one of the greatest finales of all time, but that it nearly upstaged its parent series along the way. Now, let's all continue pretending Connor didn't exist.
1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The cultural influence and lasting impact of Buffy the Vampire Slayer can still be felt today, more than 20 years after it first premiered on The WB and helped to launch the network's slate of popular teen programming. The Sarah Michelle Gellar-fronted series flipped the horror script and took the tiny blonde girl at its center, all too often a victim in similar projects, and turned her into a powerful and relatable force for good without losing any of the character's wit and personality, instantly creating an iconic heroine in the process. By tackling universal stories through unique perspectives that played out via narratives based in metaphor, Buffy stood out from other programs featuring high school-aged protagonists. Literal demons stood in for the horrible people encountered as a young adult, and when it came time for Buffy to lose her virginity, the show used Angel losing his soul and becoming a monster to comment on relationship dynamics and social stigmas. There's a reason Buffy has managed to endure for all these years, and there's a reason so many shows continue to try to recreate the magic that propelled Buffy Summers and the Scooby Gang through five seasons on The WB (and two on UPN). And let me tell you, it's not because of the fashion choices; the series is timeless — special effects excluded — and it won't be surprising if it continues to inspire an entirely new generation again soon.
(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.)